The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Board of Directors voted April 16 to grant relief of portions of the MSHSAA bylaws that include summer limits on contact between coaches and student-athletes, on April 16.

The board voted to allow seniors to be viewed as enrolled students through the summer, which allows them to represent their high schools in summertime interscholastic competition. This relief of bylaw 3.15 is designed for this summer only.

“Hopefully, this will allow schools to play contests against other schools to provide closure and recognition for students and allow teams and kids to play together this summer,” said MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn.

In other action, dependent upon approval from local and state health officials, the MSHSAA board voted to make the summertime dead period and the summer limits on contact optional for the summer of 2020. Bylaw 1.5 requires member schools to establish a period of nine consecutive days beginning on a Saturday and lasting to the second following Sunday, in which no contact takes place between school coaches or directors of MSHSAA-sponsored activities and students enrolled in the member school, or who will be enrolled in the member school during the next school year.

With this decision, a school may choose to comply with this “dead period” or to allow teams to hold activities. This decision also relieves portions of bylaws 3.15.3 and 3.15.4, which limits teams to 20 days of contact during the summer. Member schools may allow teams to have more than 20 days of contact in which any coaching or instruction in the skills and techniques of any sport takes place.

“The abrupt changes that took place to our normal system of education this spring have our schools pleading for access to students this summer,” said Urhahn.